Goal drought between Blues and Spurs
Written By: Robert Halter
The chase for Champions League places were on as Chelsea clashed with Tottenham Hotspur as the Blues remained five points behind fourth placed Spurs but the lilywhites had not won at Stamford Bridge during the twenty years of the Barclays Premier League which last occurred in February 1990 as Spurs secured a 2-1 victory. In the Saturday showdown on March 2012, two former Blues lined up for Spurs, captain Scott Parker and defender William Gallas. The Blues had a penalty appeal on twenty seven minutes after Gallas challenged Frank Lampard in the area. But Spurs should have taken the lead just before the break when Luka Modric’s low cross was connected to by Rafael Van der Vaart which took a point blank save by Petr Cech to keep the ball out and then a lunging block by Ashley Cole stopped Van der Vaart’s rebound effort from creeping in, as the ball landed on top of the net from Emmanuel Adebayor’s header. The Blues threatened for the first time on fifty minutes from Cech’s long goal kick as Didier Drogba headed the ball into the path of Daniel Sturridge, who thrashed his shot wide of the target. But Chelsea were in danger again six minutes later when Kyle Walker hammered his strike into the side netting after a neat lay off by Gareth Bale. On sixty two minutes, the Blues had a claim for a penalty turned away after Benoit Assou-Ekotto went into Ramires in the box. Although Chelsea went close to breaking the deadlock ten minutes later after Juan Mata’s bending free kick hit against the base of the right post, after a foul on Ramires by Bale, as the passage of play continued despite Younes Kaboul pulling up injured in the opposing penalty area beforehand. Spurs attempted a free kick by Modric on seventy seven minutes, as after being fouled by David Luiz, Modric’s dead ball kick was barged over the bar from Gallas. A saving block on the line from Gary Cahill kept Chelsea in the match a minute later, after Adebayor had gone past Cech, following Modric’s long ball in. From a resulting Modric corner, the Blues had another escape as Bale’s header went crashing against the crossbar before Adebayor put the rebound over. The pressure was on Chelsea at the end after Luiz’s needless tug on Adebayor and from Bale’s free kick, Cech turned the ball away from the right post as the game remained a goalless stalemate with the point suiting Spurs better than Chelsea in the quest for Champions League football next season.